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The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate
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The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  101 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
If you think that global warming means slightly hotter weather and a modest rise in sea levels that will persist only so long as fossil fuels hold out (or until we decide to stop burning them), think again. In "The Long Thaw," David Archer, one of the world's leading climatologists, predicts that if we continue to emit carbon dioxide we may eventually cancel the next ice a ...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published October 6th 2008 by Princeton University Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Aug 12, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Richard by: Michael Tobis at
Related 2015 update: If We Burned All the Fossil Fuel in the World in the New Yorker.


If you’re curious about how scientists actually study climate change, David Archer is an excellent go-to guy. Every year brings new developments, so a book isn’t the best resource for up-to-date understanding of all of the details of what is known about what is happening, but a book is a good way of learning how the science gets done.

Another of his books is even more on-point for ju
Jose Moa
This is a bok written by a prestigious professional scientist expert in the subject.

There are many books on global warming and climate change,but i think this is mainly foccused on the physics,climatic,paleoclimatic,glaciations and long term consecuences of the massive release by us of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

The book yet is a popular science book is more rigurous that the average in its explanations.
Makes a serious exposition of the greenhouse effect,of the orbital and axis of earth in
Larry Bassett
Nov 01, 2010 Larry Bassett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Larry by: Susan
The bottom line for our forecast of the future is that the Earth has the ability to look after its own climate, but only if we are willing to wait a few hundred thousand years. It takes that long for the imbalance of CO release and uptake back into the Earth to affect the CO concentration of the atmosphere and ocean. The slow response time of Earth’s thermostat is the reason why our own climate experiment from releasing fossil fuel CO will persist for hundreds of thousands of years into the fut
Jan 28, 2010 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm gonna finally admit that I won't finish this book and return it to the library. I've been hogging it since January, and have only read half. It's not bad. In fact, it's very interesting, and I took notes as I read it. It's just that there are so many much more fun books I'd rather be reading right now. It's the too many books, too little time problem...

In any case, I feel I'm pretty decently prepared to counter any acquaintance's argument against global warming thanks to this book, and I wil
Jul 02, 2013 Yolanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This book was great in terms of its content. I appreciated that Archer covered the different aspects of the climate system in its present state, its deep past, and its deep future. However, I was under the impression that this book would be appropriate to reach a general audience. I would say that especially in the first part (there are three parts), this was true. This was also true of the epilogue. In between though, I, an atmospheric science PhD, often got bored. If you want an accurate, comp ...more
I guess this was worth reading, but I don't think it's actually as easy for a layperson to read and understand as the book reviews claim. Also, it's pretty dry, and for me, few of his analogies worked in helping me better understand climate issues. But parts of it were really readable and simple, and because it's so dry and it's really focused on climate changes, it's not at all scary or alarming. He doesn't really talk much about how the expected weather instability might affect humans or human ...more
May 09, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate

David Archer argues in his book that it is not too late to make a change and help the planet revert back to conditions that are somewhat similar to how they were in the past, but that this is only possible if humans can find a way to make changes to their lifestyles in a way they’ve never know or experienced before. Archer makes it easy to see that he is arguing that all of us are up against something, but we can sp
Dec 27, 2009 Aron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in what we actually know about climate change
Recommended to Aron by:
I picked this one up primarily because it's so new (2009) and also because David Archer is a well respected climatologist and not just a journalist interested in the issue. I think it's a pretty good introductory book to the whole climate change topic, but it doesn't exactly flow well at points. Archer also tends to repeat things...and while this is somewhat excusable given the format he chose (present, past, future), it can be annoying. If those two things don't bother you, then by all means ma ...more
May 08, 2016 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘The Long Thaw’, overall, is a compact book stuffed with many concepts, theories, and predictions that initiate understanding to the broad topic of climate change. Archer’s scientific writing was easy to follow and provided many metaphors like kitchen sinks to help explain CO2 in the atmosphere and heat energy budget (Archer, 83). Archer makes many colloquial comparisons to climate change that make the book, as depressing of a topic as it is, light and interesting. While the book is short, every ...more
Aug 10, 2011 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: climate-change
Excellent, well-flowing and compelling discussion of the Earth's past climate, the function and complexities of climatic changes we are driving today, and the long-term impacts of those changes. Archer makes clear that a time horizon of only 2100 may be convenient for current generations but masks the ongoing result of our GHG emissions for tens to hundreds of millennia. One striking conclusion is that it doesn't even matter if we sequester CO2 in the deep oceans or saline aquifers -- on those t ...more
Mar 18, 2010 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating and refreshingly non-sugarcoated look at the deep history of climate on the earth, and what it can tell us about what we might be in store with future climate change. I learned a ton of amazing things about the science and history of the earth/atmosphere/ocean system, and the writing tone is directly from a scientist working "in the trenches" who is clearly expert in his field and also clearly dismayed that the public climate debate is so light on real scientific information. So wh ...more
Aug 14, 2015 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
An expert on the carbon cycle and paleoclimate, the author describes in this short book the causes and consequences of past climate changes and what the consequences of humanity's ongoing massive release of CO2 into the atmosphere has been to date and is likely to be in the centuries and millennia to come. His explanations of the science involved are clear and accompanied by many graphs. His writing style is extremely straight forward, and he points out not only what data is known but what is st ...more
Bradley Jarvis
Aug 31, 2010 Bradley Jarvis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2016 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a re-read, just to refresh.
It's a very readable technological read that will give you the basic science of Climate Change. It's highly recommended for those who need to know about this most important issue of our time.
Mar 06, 2016 Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book on global warming.

A great book on global warming. Easy read for everyone. Get a new perspective on the Earth and what humans are doing to it.
Gregor Erbach
Sep 27, 2011 Gregor Erbach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good introduction to the science of climate change
Tyler K.
Aug 05, 2012 Tyler K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: environmental
Stresses science over politics--which is good, because Archer is a credible scientist and needs to remain that way.
David rated it really liked it
May 25, 2011
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

David Archer is a computational ocean chemist, and has been a professor at the Geophysical Sciences department at the University of Chicago since 1993
More about David Archer...

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